Our Mission

The Galveston Island Humane Society, Inc. is dedicated to promoting animal welfare and the protection and prevention of unwanted or homeless animals of Galveston Island.


The Galveston Island Humane Society, Inc. was formed in 1981 and much has changed in the past 34 years. We are no longer “the pound” where animals are held for the legal limit. Today we have a humane shelter that is open to the public six days a week to facilitate reuniting pets with their families and to promote adoptions.

GIHS is an “open admission” shelter for Galveston Island. That means we accept all homeless pets, even when the shelter is full. Our open admission status in a community with a disproportionately high number of homeless or unwanted pets could lead to needless euthanasia in our shelter. We work diligently to assure that adoptable pets are not held under a time limit and are kept available until they are placed in a family or transferred to a second chance situation.


As part of our mission to save all adoptable pets, a new policy requires appointments for owner surrenders as the shelter is consistently at capacity and owners are encouraged to attempt to re-home their pets on their own if possible. Information on rehoming is available on this site.


The following are some specific goals we would like to accomplish in the future:

  • To rehome lost pets or find ‘forever’ homes for all of our animals.
  • Obtain additional funding to enhance our current programs and expand into other areas.
  • Initiate and coordinate a comprehensive spay/neuter programs for the City of Galveston residens to stop the influx of unwanted and homeless animals coming in to the shelter.
  • Provide education in the community focused on the long term care of pets as family members. This will include basic care, vaccination needs, identification through microchipping, and altering all pets to decrease additional homeless pets.


Executive Director – Caroline Dorsett-Pate

Administrative Manager – Vanessa Coggins

Shelter Operations Manager – Stephanie Tong

Client Care Associates – Alan Baich, Priscilla Pippin, and Janice Wagner

Animal Health Technicians – Destiny Auzston and Katrina Ross

Animal Care Supervisor – Johnathan Pineda

Animal Care Staff – Julie Abbott, Ryan Bustamante, Debbie Radzieski, Kayleigh Lashway, Samantha Rogers, and Steven Wang

Feral Cat Program Liaison – Vanessa Coggins

Volunteer Coordinator – Danielle Nordstrom

Foster Coordinator – Thresea Russ


The GIHS Board of Directors consists of up to 20 volunteer members who assist with decisions about the shelter operations and policies. They also coordinate fundraisers and provide support to the shelter staff. Interested in serving? Please email: Info@GalvestonHumane.org for more information.

GIHS Board of Directors

President – Dana Wisko
President Elect – David Rogers
Treasurer – Debby Chambers
Secretary – Joel Caldwell
Past President – Shelby Scott

Liz Alvarado
Joel Caldwell
Mike Dudas
Lea Fistein, DVM
Janet Hoffman
Jeannie Hughes
Jeannie Janota
Maureen McCutchen
Stephanie Vasut
Ann Winkelmann